Manchester United’s inability to finish games off is likely to cost them dearly in the race for Champions League qualification. Luckily for them, however, they have financial muscle which very few others boast and, in Jose Mourinho, a manager who is not afraid to use it.
The signings of Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic last summer in particular are evidence that not only can United afford to spend record breaking sums, they are still able to tempt the most ambitious players to play in the red half of Manchester, even without the draw of being in Europe’s elite club competition.
A busy Premier League schedule, Europa League fixtures, a run to the FA Cup quarter-final and winning the League Cup have wreaked injury-havoc upon Mourinho’s squad, leaving the twenty-time champions without key men for long periods this season. There is a pressing need to bolster a squad which, despite major investment, is severely lacking in areas and the club are expected to be ruthless in selling those who are clearly surplus to requirements and replace them with the standard of player we became accustomed to over the years at United.
Concerns over the future of goalkeeper David De Gea, a long term Real Madrid target, will force the club to consider signing a replacement should he leave. Defensively, it is widely accepted that United will need to sign a top quality centre half to play alongside Eric Bailly, who has impressed in his debut season; while a left back arrival is a certainty.
Ageing players such as Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney look set to leave and Michael Carrick, who is very much still a valuable player for United, simply cannot play as consistently as he once could. Marouane Fellaini was booed after conceding a late penalty against Tottenham before Christmas and although he showed good character in the new year to bounce back and make some good contributions, his recent red card for head-butting Sergio Aguero in the Manchester derby only reinstates concerns over his temperament, and Mourinho is sure to look at replacements in the summer.
Above is a list of ten players who could join Manchester United in the upcoming transfer window as part of a significant squad overhaul at Old Trafford.
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- Antoine Greizmann